Peter Abelard’s autobiography, the Historia calamitatum, is one of the best-known medieval texts, especially because of the story of his love for Heloise which it. The “Historia Calamitatum” was written while AbĂ©lard was still abbot of the monastery of St. Gildas, in Brittany. The terrors of his existence there are fully dwelt on. The Historia Calamitatum, although in the literary form of a letter, is a sort of autobiography, with distinct echoes of Augustine’s Confessions. It is one of the most.

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Historia Calamitatum

In reading the Historia Calamitatum there is one consideration that suggests itself that is subject for serious thought. Thus did it come to pass that while I was utterly absorbed in pride and sensuality, divine grace, the cure for both diseases, was forced upon me, even though I, forsooth would fain have shunned it.

He bade me not to doubt that this violence would in the end react upon them and prove a blessing to me, and counseled me to have no fear of the confinement in a monastery, knowing that within a few days the legate himself, who was now acting under compulsion, would after his departure set me free.

All alike marvelled at her religious zeal, her good judgment and the sweetness of her incomparable patience in all things. First was I punished for my sensuality, and then for my pride.

Having thus found this testimony of Bede’s in contradiction of our own tradition, I showed it somewhat jestingly to sundry of the monks who chanced to be near. He quotes saints, apostles, and at one point, compares his struggles in likeness to those of Christ. It provides a clear and fascinating picture of intellectual life in Paris before the formalization of the Universityof the intellectual excitement of the period, of monastic life, and of his affair with Heloiseone of history’s most famous love stories.

This dialectical method of intellectual reflection — also seen in Gratian’s approach to canon law — was to become an important feature of western education and distinguishes it sharply from other world cultures such as Islam and the Confucian world. What penalties, she said, would the world rightly demand of her if she should rob it of so shining a light!


Forthwith I repaired to my own country, and brought back thence my mistress, that I might make her my wife.

Historia Calamitatum by Peter Abelard – Free Ebook

Stunned by this fear like one smitten with historis thunderbolt, I daily expected to be dragged before their councils or assemblies as histodia heretic or one guilty of impiety. The thing came about in this wise. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Wrathfully they declared that Bede was no better than a liar, and that they had a far more trustworthy authority in the person of Hilduin, a former abbot of theirs, who had travelled for a long time throughout Greece for the purpose of investigating this very question.

These two ran hither and yon preaching and shamelessly slandering me in every way they could, so that in time they succeeded in drawing down on my head the scorn of many among those having authority, among both the clergy and the laity. Since my oratory was no longer large enough to hold even a small part of their number, they found it necessary to increase its size, and in so doing they greatly improved it, building it of stone and wood.

When he found out, they were separated, only to meet in secret.

Indeed it is true, as Jerome says: Now, a great many people saw and read this tract, and it became exceedingly popular, its histodia appealing particularly to all who sought information on this subject. To the twelfth century it belongs; to the century of faith and simplicity; not to the mathematical certainties of Descartes and Leibnitz and Newton, or to the mathematical abstractions of Spinoza.

It was given out that I, presuming on my gifts far beyond the warranty of my youth, was aspiring despite my tender years to the leadership of a school; nay, more, that I was making ready the very place in which I would undertake this task, the place being none other than the castle of Melun, at that time a royal seat.

A short text that is easy to read. Hsitoria, if you impose a lightly considered judgment on him, as I cannot believe you will, you well know that even if mayhap you calamiitatum in the right there are many who will be angered thereby and that he will have no lack of defenders.

It chanced, moreover, that one day, after the exposition of certain texts, we scholars were jesting among ourselves, and one of them, seeking to draw me out, asked me what I thought of the lectures on the Books of Scripture.


Historia Calamitatum – Wikipedia

Though I seem to compare a flea with a lion, or an ant with an elephant, in very truth my rivals persecuted me no less bitterly than the heretics of old hounded St. One person found this helpful. Accordingly, on a night when her uncle was absent, we carried out the plan we had determined on, and I stole her secretly away from her uncle’s house, sending her without delay to my own country. Thus, utterly aflame with calammitatum passion for this maiden, I sought to discover means whereby I might have daily and hisyoria speech with her, thereby the more easily to win her consent.

When this came to the ears of his scholars, they were filled with indignation at so hustoria a manifestation of spite, the like of which had never been directed against any one before.

What man, intent on his religious or philosophical meditations, can possibly endure the whining of children, the lullabies of the nurse seeking to quiet them, or the noisy confusion of family life? They held, according to an ancient tradition, that ‘it must be dedicated either to the Son alone or else to the entire Trinity. I pointed out that what had happened could not seem incredible to any one who had ever felt the power of love, or who remembered how, from the very beginning of the human race, women had cast down even the noblest men to utter ruin.

Moreover, these same Middle Ages believed very earnestly in the Divine forgiveness of sins for which there had been real repentance and honest effort at amendment. Ships from and sold by Amazon. Early Christian Lives Penguin Classics. Even so held the poet: Who is there who does not know that the sacraments of God’s blessings pertaining to the Church are particularly ascribed to the operation of divine grace, by which is meant the Holy Spirit?